Eternal Punishment Is with Fire

As Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

Jude 1:7

What it says Jude 1:7 can be seen from two different angles. The historical part talks about the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns. Those cities were destroyed by fire because of their sins against nature. The second angle of Jude 1:7 is that those same cities were made an example, suffering the punishment of eternal fire. We all know that the destruction of these cities by fire occurred thousands of years ago, why Judas speaks of eternal fire? The punishment of Sodom and Gomorrah and neighboring towns was not limited to their physical destruction but their sinful inhabitants suffer the punishment of eternal fire.

As part of humanizing the Scriptures, there are certain theological currents today which try to deny the eternity of punishment in hell. The proponents of such ideas make to themselves questions as the following: How can a loving God punish a person infinitely whose transgressions are finite? How God will give life to people with the sole purpose of making them suffer again and again forever and ever? These questions have led many scholars of various denominations reexamine their position on the biblical teaching of hell.

Unfortunately such teachings obviously false and unbiblical exploit human psyche and tend to be extremely popular with those seeking to continue to do what they please in the name of a good and merciful God who forgives everything. In such reasoning human parameters like saying that a body cannot burn forever because after a while it became ashes are used. Using human logic and reason are incompatible with the faith and yet are useless to explain the things of God.

The Bible is very clear about the eternal punishment with fire. John the Baptist said in Matthew 3:12: His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. And the Lord says in Matthew 25:41: Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.’ In both cases they speak of eternal fire unquenchable.

Paul makes it clear at 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10 that the sentence is a life sentence: Since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed.

The gospel of grace is available to all; but who refuses to repent and believe in Jesus Christ cannot claim to be forgiven. Do not fool yourself into thinking that God’s goodness will prevent Him from taking the drastic step of eternal punishment. God bless you.

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